What You Need to Know About Refurbishing Your Cabinets

Posted by Dave Kotler on Monday, August 9th, 2021 at 1:59pm.

Everything You Need to Know About Refurbishing CabinetsOld cabinets can really drag down the appearance of your kitchen. Cabinet replacement can be very expensive, but refurbishment is much more affordable. Cabinet refurbishment can be done as a DIY activity or with help from a contractor. Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding whether to

Determine Whether You Should Refurbish or Need to Replace

Clearly, refacing or refurbishing is less costly than replacing cabinets, but which is the better choice in your situation? Refacing won’t solve issues such as a poor kitchen layout or serious rotting. Cabinets that are falling apart don’t tend to become optimally functional with refurbishment, but if you're just looking for a stylistic update, you may be able to refurbish your existing cabinets with new stain or paint, new hardware, or a new finish.

However, your cabinets may have sustained too much damage for refurbishment to be an option. Rusting metal cabinets or tilted ones due to foundation compromises are also better candidates for a complete overhaul. If these issues are present, an experienced home remodeler might advise replacing some or all of the cabinets. Once you determine you want to refurbish your cabinetry, here are some strategies to make them shine:

Pick a Stain or Color

The stain or colour of the cabinets can have a big effect on the appearance of the kitchen. Darker kitchens benefit from lighter colours, while lighter kitchens benefit from darker colours.

Before the homeowner settles on the stain or paint colour, it's important to apply samples to a piece of cardboard or wood. Viewing the samples in different lights and at different times of day can help the homeowner get a sense of how the stain or paint truly looks.

Prep the Surface

Before the cabinets can be stained or painted, gouges in the cabinets must be filled with wood filler, and the old sealer must be removed. This process can take as long as the actual painting process — or even longer.

All doors and drawers must be removed, and the hardware put in a separate location. Ideally, the hardware should be placed in sandwich bags and labels should be applied so the hardware can be matched to the doors and drawers where they were originally placed.

Doors and drawers must be put back in their original location after the painting is finished. The easiest way to make this happen is to draw a map of the kitchen, number all cabinets and drawers on the map, and write numbers on the doors and drawers themselves. When it's time to put the doors and drawers back in their place, the map will make this possible.

Apply Multiple Coats

When the time comes to paint or stain the cabinets, it's generally best to apply multiple coats. Applying multiple coats helps ensure that the paint or stain will be enduring and durable. When applying a stain, the cabinets must be properly sealed. Kitchen cabinets must be fairly waterproof in order to withstand the moisture of a kitchen. Using polyurethane can help ensure the finish will be durable and long-lasting.

Or Work with a Licensed Contractor

Big White homeowners who aren't willing or able to refurbish their cabinets themselves can instead get help from a licensed contractor. When choosing a contractor, it's important to select a professional with experience. Working with a capable professional can help ensure that the project will be a success while adding value to the home. If you're clear about your goals for your kitchen and have the budget to commit, refurbishment can result in a kitchen you're sure to love.

Dave Kotler

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